The degree of building automation has risen rapidly in recent years, resulting in major changes to our lives. We can expect the current megatrends of “Industry 4.0”, “Smart Home” and the “Internet of Things” to further accelerate the deployment of building automation.
As a term, “building automation” (BA) describes the systems used for monitoring, control, regulation and optimisation within buildings. BA has therefore become a key component within technical facility management.
All sensors, actuators, user controls, consumers and other technical units within the building are mutually interconnected via the data network systems.
We can distinguish between two main areas here. One is the private residential sector (Smart Home), where the primary focus is on the building occupiers’ comfort, communication (Internet, phone and TV) and security.
Here, computers, tablets, laptops and TV units are networked together and heating systems (temperature) are user-controlled. In the future, refrigerators will be restocked automatically and other aspects of day-to-day life – such as waste disposal and vacuuming – will also be automated.
The other main area encompasses office and industrial buildings, hospitals, shopping centres and many kinds of public buildings. These are currently “controlled” and “monitored” by a wide-ranging data network – not least for reasons of cost-effectiveness and security.
These include the following applications:
- Time- and demand-based control of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning plant
- Time- and demand-based control of sun-shading facilities, depending on sunlight and wind
- Improving security by monitoring door and window contacts, as well as motion detectors
- Implementing access control systems
- Centralised logging and display of all building control processes
- Dimming and switching with wireless or infrared user controls
- Consumption data logging from thermal meters, water meters, gas meters and electricity meters
- Lighting activation/dimming based on demand, time of day, seasons and/or movement
Even today, the physical basis for the building services as a whole already uses an Ethernet-based data network structure. The LEONI Kerpen GmbH has already developed a wide range of system solutions for this model. Both industrial and office system solutions (MegaLine® and GigaLine®) can be deployed, depending on the application.